The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) held its first ever annual conference in September and used the event to launch and promote a new occupational health awareness campaign, Go Home Healthy, aimed at educating both employers and employees on worker health and safety.
While the campaign highlights employee health generally, it has three particular areas of focus:
The campaign’s website provides a broad range of information for employers and employees. Of particular note is an emphasis on occupational health leadership. There is also a ‘sub-theme’ addressed to employers, urging them to ‘shine a light’ on the hazards in their organisations, and to ‘do the right thing’, expressed by the hashtag #workright.
A rolling programme of campaigns and conferences is planned which will tie in with the HSE’s work on inspections and investigations. The HSE has said that current focus areas include the manufacturing sector and MSD hazards.
Philippa Luscombe, partner in the personal injury team at Penningtons Manches LLP, comments: “The HSE has become increasingly high profile in recent years with its programmes of inspections, investigation and enforcement and is making it clear that employers must consider the overall health and safety of their employees. As the campaign shows, this should not be limited to the obvious risks of direct injury. Musculo-skeletal issues and stress are examples of problems that build up over time as a result of working practices and more awareness and education is needed on strategies to prevent them.
“As solicitors acting for clients with claims arising from accidents at work and working practices, we are often very concerned at what appears to be a complete lack of consideration for the health and wellbeing of employees and an inability to recognise and deal with developing problems. We welcome this campaign – for those employers who lack knowledge, it should help provide information and support while for those who currently disregard the health of their employees, the enforcement and investigation process should encourage them to improve their procedures.”